I knew that the world cup was coming to South Africa for six years. I was in primary school when it was announced but didn’t feel any hype around it at the time.
Time passed and so did the years and the six years building up to 2010 seemed very normal to me. It did not feel like South Africa was to host a significant event on international importance.
Tickets went on sale and I too received some, but I still didn’t think I was about to be part of an experience that would change some people’s lives.
All that led to the night of an all important game that I would remember for the rest of my life.
It was a cold night in the Loftus Versfeld stadium where temperatures dropped below freezing point. The stadium was packed and everyone was still high on Bafana’s draw against Mexico. Everyone thought this would be in the bag. But it wasn’t to be as the host nation lost three goals to nil to Uruguay.
An hour before kickoff vuvuzelas were blowing so hard you wouldn’t hear yourself sneeze in that cold. I had so much hope that the atmosphere would last. But as the whistle to start the game was blown the stadium went dead quiet.
Then Diego Forlan of Uruguay drew the first blood with a shot out of nowhere. It felt like I was watching a golf Tournament where the crowd waiting in anticipation for Tiger Wood to make his final shot to win the US Masters. Then I thought Bafana would score and the mood would change back to the vuvuzelas that we heard before kickoff.
This dull mood lasted unfortunately. It lasted the whole game until I stood up and left the stadium as I was cold and had realised that no miracle was going to happen here. The ‘Once In Lifetime’ or ‘Part Of History’ moment ended before it even started for me.
Nothing excited me that much about the day. That sums up my world cup experience.